September 2005
In This Issue:

Belmont Apartments Grand Opening

Artist Corita Kent wrote, "The groundwork doesn't show, 'til one day." At the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County, our groundwork is usually that of trust building, encouragement and support with our clients…that then - one day - shows in a smile of accomplishment, a tear of companionship, or an acknowledgement of self-worth.

This month we are presented with an additional "one day." The Belmont Apartments - 25 newly built units of supportive housing - will be dedicated. Decades of relationship building, years of planning and (can you believe it!) 12 months of construction - the groundwork - is about to show.

Celebrate with us this "one day" on Tuesday, September 27 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the dedication of the Belmont Apartments. Partner with us in the groundwork of contributing to the "Belmont Fund" to establish our program services. Commit with us to the future of continuing to improve the quality of life for all within our community. One day, it shows.

by MHA Board President Tom Harshman

"The Belmont Fund"
The opening of the Belmont Apartments is an important milestone for helping people in need. The Belmont Fund has been established to support the ongoing upkeep of the Apartments. Funds will be used to improve the residents' quality of living with furniture as well as other necessary social and health services. Please support The Belmont Fund with a financial contribution today:

New Website for the Agency
It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of the new website for the Mental Health Association of San Mateo County, which can be reached at MHA now offers the public easy access to information about agency programs and services, client success stories, upcoming events, employment and volunteer opportunities and community resources. Through our website MHA can now accept online donations. The Mental Health Minute page will direct web surfers to recent news articles, useful weblinks and includes a glossary of often used but rarely defined terms. The website will be updated on a regular basis and MHA welcomes feedback at

Welcome New Board Members

MHA is pleased to announce the election of Tom Harshman, pictured on the right, as the new President of the Board of Directors for fiscal year 2005-2006. Tom has been a member of the Board since December, 2002. Serving as officers with Tom will be Carol-Ann Casner, Vice President and Marsha Gustafson, Secretary/Treasurer. Carol-Ann recently returned to the MHA Board in 2004 after a one year hiatus following 6 years of service to MHA. Marsha has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2002. Three new Members were also elected to the Board this year: Kay Bullock, Elise Clowes and Danita Scott-Taylor.

New Employees

(Clockwise from upper left, Kristy Becker, Valerie Williams, Doris Courtney, Tina LaPerle)

The Mental Health Association welcomes seven new employees, four of whom are pictured above, who have joined our programs over the last few months. They include Doris Courtney, MHA's new receptionist, Valerie Williams who is part-time and filling the newly created position of Clinical Supervisor, Tina LaPerle, Case Management Services Coordinator, Kristy Becker, Shelter Plus Care Case Manager and Karis Bituin, Irene Guerra and Fidha Waheed who are all working in the Spring Street Emergency Shelter. For more information on all of our new employees please visit our website at

Our newest employees also help MHA better serve a diverse population of clients through increased linguistic and cultural diversity. Ms. Bituin is fluent in Tagalog; Ms. Courtney and Ms. Guerra speak, read and write Spanish, and Ms. Waheed speaks fluent Hindi.

While we are pleased to have new employees join us, it also saddens us that we must say goodbye to employees who are leaving, including Ariel Brandt, Malia Kane, and Grant Partridge.

Mental Health Services Act Planning
A draft of the Mental Health Services Division 3 year plan to Transform the System is currently available for review. A number of community hearings will be held over the next month to review and receive comments on the plan before it is submitted to the State Department of Mental Health. To learn more about the plan, or the meetings that are scheduled, check the County website at

MHA Receives EHAP Award
The Mental Health Association has received a grant of $515,000 from the State of California, Department of Housing and Community Development Emergency Housing Assistance Program. These funds will be used to refurbish and update the Shelter and Transitional Housing site on Spring Street. MHA has been working with the local Office of Housing and Roger Hagman, AIA, to create plans for the remodeling which is slated to begin in late fall. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Get Involved

Your generosity will help in providing much needed services and programs to persons with mental illness. Click on the Donate Now Button below to get linked to the MHA's donation page.


Visit the MHA website at

Calendar of Events

September 27, 2005
Belmont Apartment Grand Opening

Fall 2005
EHAP Work to Begin

October 2005
Mental Illness Awareness Month

Belmont Apartment Tenants Begin Move-In

December 2005
Operation Reindeer